River Hill breaks away early

Redd's two first-quarter touchdowns help Hawks remain unbeaten

No. 3 River Hill 25 No. 11 Wilde Lake 8

Football

October 06, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun reporter

When people talk about River Hill football, the names Michael Campanaro and Zach Martin always pop up, and rightfully so.

The senior duo came up big again last night against No. 11 Wilde Lake, but it was junior Malek Redd who sparked the third-ranked Hawks in the first quarter en route to a 25-8 road victory.

It was River Hill's 17th consecutive win over a Howard County opponent in a game that matched unbeaten, run-oriented teams. Before last night, River Hill (5-0) had not been scored on this season.

Redd, 5 feet 6 and 160 pounds, picked up a blocked punt at the 7-yard line on Wilde Lake's first possession and took it into the end zone.

After Wilde Lake (4-1) punted on its next possession, Redd took a pitch and raced to the right sideline, broke a tackle on a cutback to the middle and raced 32 yards for a touchdown.

Suddenly, River Hill was up 12-0 with 13 seconds left in the quarter.

"I just wanted to show everybody that it's not just Mike and Zach. I can do it, too," Redd said. "Most teams focus on Mike and Zach, but we have other players who can do it, too."

Carrying the ball as a running back and also a quarterback in what the Hawks call their "pistol offense," Campanaro rushed 22 times for 171 yards and touchdowns on runs of 30 yards and 1 yard.

The 1-yard score by Campanaro capped a 13-play, 73-yard drive in the last quarter on which Campanaro carried 12 times for 72 yards.

"It's a short shotgun [3 yards from center] called the `pistol,' and we do it as a change of pace," Hawks coach Brian Van Deusen said.

"We do it a couple series here and there. The main thing is to get the ball in Michael's hands because a lot of teams are keying on him. It gives the defense a different look."

Campanaro said he "likes it a lot, running behind the tackles," as they did last night.

Martin carried 20 times for 123 yards and led the Hawks' defense, which limited the Wildecats to one score, a 4-yard run by Jerrel Epps and two-point conversion pass from Danny March to Chaz Lee.

The Hawks have won 35 of their past 36 games against Howard County foes.

River Hill, now a Class 2A team, lost to Friendly in last year's 3A final at M&T Bank Stadium to finish 13-1. Class 3A Wilde Lake missed the playoffs despite an 8-2 record.

Long Reach was the last Howard County team to knock off the Hawks, a 15-14 overtime victory Oct. 29, 2005, at Long Reach.

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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